Dear Donna,
I just want to appreciate you for all the wonderful wisdom you impart and the strong stance you take for the well being of the child, every child. I have been in proximity with your teachings for many years. I used your homeschool curriculum to homeschool my two children from very young through the early grades and I do truly believe that it was the best education I have ever received on the topic of humanity. I am now an educator myself and I must credit you with the bulk of my understanding about children, childhood and human development. I acknowledge and appreciate your contribution to my understanding and to the evolution of thinking in the world.
With deep gratitude,
 

Before my husband and I had children, I taught as a Class Teacher at Green Meadow Waldorf School for five years. Once our two girls came along, I began working part-time at Sunbridge Institute as the Director of Education. Last spring, swift changes in New York State laws pertaining to vaccination requirements turned our world inside out practically overnight. As reluctant homeschool parents, the thing we did have going for us was familiarity and experience with Waldorf education. But after some time trying to navigate the terrain of homeschooling a second grader and a fifth grader, I recognized that I needed help and I turned to Christopherus.

After working with the curriculula for much of this school year, I can reflect that it helped me in so many practical ways. I completely trust the content, which is rooted in the ideas and ideals of anthroposophy and Waldorf education. The materials are extremely well-written, the selection of stories and suggested resources has saved me many hours of preparation, and the helpful advice and considerations for shaping time together allowed me to relax and enjoy the manifold gifts that come with homeschooling. Beyond the practical support, my experience with Christopherus has enabled our family to thrive in new and unexpected ways by changing something that seemed overwhelming into a rich experience for all of us.

We’re using the 6th grade curriculum and are listening to the recordings on Rome. I just have to say THANK YOU, Donna. You are the teacher I’m striving to be and it’s wonderful to be able to actually listen to the way you tell the stories. My daughter is enjoying them too, (though she rarely admits to liking anything these days… I can tell because she laughs and listens.) xoxo

I think especially because we started homeschool in 6th grade, I was very overwhelmed by the idea of assimilating and understanding enough to be able to create lectures or do inspired story telling. I was actually crippled by the gap between what I had envisioned and what I was able to eek out as we began. Added to that, I now had a 6th grader who didn’t want to do beautiful water colors or use a main lesson book or do any of the Waldorf-y things I love. I was not prepared for her painful lack of enthusiasm and resistance and it took quite a while to find our rhythm.

I wish I had had your lectures for the entire history curriculum. Or that I had thought to listen to Rome before we started because it really gave me a better idea of how to put the material together. I know I would have done a better job with Greece.

I would have happily paid extra for more of your recordings. My daughter likes them so much that she actually asked if we could just keep listening. And she’s absorbing the information!

You are such a wonderful teacher and story teller. You remind me of my favorite college professors. I remember being amazed in college to discover that a great professor made me fall in love with their subject even if I thought I had no interest in it.

You have even helped with our Greek history by bringing up the Greeks again in the Rome recordings.
I’m sad that you don’t have 7th grade since it now looks like we’ll be home again next year.

I hope that Christopherus thrives because what you are sharing is truly wonderful.

Thank you again,

 

I’m so thankful for Christopherus. There are many things I knew were true and right but in the past felt guilty implementing. Donna’s words have encouraged me to do these things.

I would like to let you know how much my 13 year old son and I are enjoying your beautifully done Earth Science curriculum. We have never used a “workbook” before, and I am finding the experience to be absolutely amazing! Not only is the “workbook” beautifully done, it allows my son to do specific assignments and readings on his own, while the teachers guide gives me the Christopherus experience that I absolutely love (a very detailed guide that also allows me the freedom to add whatever I want! It also inspires me to be the best, most creative homeschool parent I can be, within a framework that keeps me realistic about my goals)! This marriage of a tangible, ascetically beautiful “workbook” for my son who is craving independence, along with the guide, really is exactly what my family needed for middle school. Please make more!

In gratitude,

We got all of our materials two weeks ago and just went for it. We were ready. We started with form drawing and the Old Testament Block for my fourth grader and the Saints and Heroes block for my second grader. And the K girlie is just happy to join in all the stories and cooking and the younger 2 kids have no idea how lucky they will be when it’s their turn to go through the grades. My fourth grader is one of those January babies so he recently turned 10. As a mama I knew he hadn’t completely crossed over and knew in my heart he needed these stories to ground him and send him to the next journey. I was so right. The light and change in him has been amazing. I feel that with Christopherus the curriculum truly matches perfectly the developmental stage of the child. Everything is set up in such an accessible, user friendly way that I don’t have to be guessing or spending hours and hours researching about Waldorf pedagogy to improve the curriculum. Everything is there already! Another huge difference I feel is that the curriculum is done, yes by a Waldorf expert, but by a homeschool mom who has been there and can relate to the whole experience. I’m a teacher- not Waldorf trained. And homeschooling my children is nothing like teaching at school. I love how when I’m reading the material, Donna eases my stresses about “schooling”. Homeschooling is about “home”… I get that now. I knew it because I felt it, yet you secretly feel “guilty” you’re not “teaching” your kids enough. And I find myself laughing, nodding, agreeing, smiling at what Donna has so beautifully prepared for us. I truly feel like she is my wise amazing mentor mama and we’re having a cup of tea and chatting about this homeschool act of love. Immediate feedback from the kids: eyes lighting up as we tell the stories and comments about how they’re loving all the stories, activities, water color work, and the Block system!!! You know when their eyes sparkle and something in their little souls stirs from the lesson….Then, you know you’re in the right track. I, myself, don’t feel overwhelmed or all over the place. It’s very doable. All of Donna’s little tips here and there for managing multiple children has been such a breath of fresh air. I could go on and on and on. If anybody has been considering Christopherus, really go for it. You won’t be disappointed. I’ve learned so much more about Waldorf pedagogy in these last 2 weeks as part of the curriculum. That’s invaluable because, again, I don’t have to be looking in a million places to find what I need to ensure that the children are aligned developmentally with their academics…Many blessings on you, Donna.

 

AH-Mazing! The beauty is its simplicity, succinctness, and holistic approach to organizing resources and mapping our homeschooling year. It is just what I needed in the next step of our new journey. Thank you for making my life easier!

Although we have never interacted, I want to thank you for all you have done to help me become a mother. I’ll be homeschooling my 8 year old daughter (along with my 4 year old daughter) this upcoming year. It is my first year homeschooling, but your early years information when the eight year old was little greatly influenced our family life during a very difficult time in our family. When I decided to homeschool, I initially felt I could never do Waldorf because I’m not many things that I think an ideal Waldorf teacher would be. But with all the support you guys offer, as well as the wonderful materials, and local contacts, I feel our family can heal through the school year even while it will be a time of adjustment and stretching.

Review:

 

“A new treasure is available to homeschoolers and Waldorf parents in Donna Simmons’ Joyful Movement, A Resource for Nurturing Balance, Movement and the Senses. It is woefully evident that young children are having a harder and harder time developing physical coordination and ease in movement, which normal childhood used to just naturally render. Likewise, more children are nervous and jittery, lacking a sense of comfort and security in the rhythms of their physical bodies and within the environment around them. Donna has addressed these issues in a warm, reassuring, sensible, and very practical way.
“The first part of the book gives a concise overview of development up to age 9. She also clearly describes the principles that Waldorf educators and parents have found to be effective in supporting and protecting the healthy development of young children. Donna’s observations offer a clear foundation for these thoughts. Included as well are suggested resources for further reading to deepen one’s understanding of these critical issues. Practical suggestions for bringing rhythmic activity in the lessons are clearly outlined. The importance of the children having access to the natural world is importantly emphasized. And a guide to creating your own backyard obstacle course is also included.
“More fun comes next. Over half of the book offers a compilation of verses, songs, and movement ideas to use with children. Some are familiar; others will be new to the reader. These contain rich language with good, strong rhythms to carry movement along; plus pictorial imaginations children can easily enter into. To find such material on one’s own would take hours of research in many different sources. Donna has done a real service in collecting these materials to make the task of educating and supporting the healthy development of our children a little easier and lots of fun.”

Reviewed by Nancy Blanning, Waldorf kindergarten teacher and therapeutic educator; teacher trainer; and co-author with Laurie Clark of Movement Journeys and Circle Adventures, Movement Enrichment with a Therapeutic Emphasis for Early Childhood.

The Overview, especially, has been my guide since the day I first held it in my hands, and although we drift off to this and that, it’s the backbone of what I do here at the Egan Family Homeschool. How can I ever thank you?

when I’m feeling a little overwhelmed I often just flop it open and pick a phrase or sentence that will inspire me in that moment. This trick has *never* failed me. Never.

As you know, I love to buy your books – for myself, as gifts, and for any reason I can think of! I will continue to support Christopherus this way as long as I can. I couldn’t do it without you.

I was trying to get along without ordering Saints and Heroes and 2nd Grade Mathematics, using the many other resources that I have, but I was realizing that I was missing your voice, conciseness and direction. I constantly struggle with the balance of unschooling and getting in the Waldorf framework. Your books make me feel like I can check off certain Waldorf principles balancing it with our natural family rhythms and my interests.

Reflecting back on all the wonderful Christopherus works that I own, Joyful Movement, the overview, the nature book, form drawing, the Kindergarten book, the drawing book, several of your second grade materials (animal legends and the math book), and now Living Language, I just wanted to send another big thank you to Donna and the entire Christopherus gang.

Two years ago we started our homeschooling journey with Enki and I was overwhelmed! I loved the story materials, but the guidance was very lacking. Without Donna’s materials I would have never figured out how to use the wonderful Enki stories. (and I’m a self-educated, intelligent gal! I just didn’t have the time to wade through all those binders and binders of resources and read through the vast amount of theory. And I lacked the teaching experience to be able to turn all that theory into something useable and do-able).

I find Donna’s take on Waldorf, homeschooling, and unschooling echoes my own very closely, and so I find comfort in her practical, down-to-earth guidance. She has helped me to be able to navigate our own course on our homeschooling journey. I just want to make sure she knows how much I appreciate these materials, and the heart and soul that she and her entire family have poured into them. Thank you so very much.

We are into our Language Arts block, and Madison, my six year old, is loving every minute of the Prince’s adventure with the Wise Woman. I am too. This is the most creative and fun way to learn! Maddie asked me today on her way down the hall…….”Mom how does a “j” go again?”……and then before she turned the corner…..in the most satisfied voice she said, ” never mind, I know, ….like the jester.”

My husband is in school full time right now, and very busy with his studies. Maddie can’t wait to show him, when he comes home, her latest pictures in her main lesson book. She’s so proud of what she’s learned and of her artwork.

It feels so rewarding to watch her shine like this. As I’ve shared with you before, we are new to the Waldorf approach, and I am continually grateful that we’ve found it, and you. What a difference your books have brought to our home. We love circle time so much more now that we’ve been using the Joyful Movement book. My two year old son and four year old daughter join in singing and clapping.
Many, many thanks for all your hard work!

 

I think I read nearly every word on your website in the first few days! I’ve listened to several of your audio downloads. Your voice is so calming and reassuring, to say nothing of the helpful content.

All I can say is that I feel inspired and empowered, in a word, nurtured, in my role as a mother and as a woman. I felt myself exhale. I hadn’t realized I was holding my breath! It was like ‘oh my god, somebody out there gets me. Somebody out there knows what I’m trying to do better than I do and she’s done it, AND she’s willing to share her insight and wisdom!’

Thank you! Thank you!

 

I did receive both the order and the audio download. I was so impressed with each and every item that I ordered and am anxious to listen to the audio download. In fact, I am going to use the Christopherus Curriculum with my daughter! What I have read, so far, answers a multitude of questions and fills so many gaps that I am experiencing with [another homeschool] curriculum.

Many, many thanks for providing such creative, thoughtful, fulfilling and practical ways to connect and teach my daughter! These resources truly exceed my expectations! (I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the schedule provided with each block, as well as the blocks, themselves.) THANK YOU!

 

I’m finding the whole homeschool thing very challenging, and one downfall of all this waldorf stuff for me is that I now have such high standards of how I want things to be. When things get hard, and I yell at the children, act like a child myself and totally lose it,(which is daily) I come back to your books, your audios and this forum [Waldorf at Home]. And now, as I read the books, I can sort of hear your voice and your intonations. I really like your sense of humour, and combination of common sense and yet strong opinions. Anyway, I just wanted you to know. Thank you.

We feel blessed to have come across your website under Waldorf homeschooling. Have always wanted to incorporate Steiner into our lives, but had no access to the school itself and found some Steiner books over my head/ hard to read. Everything in the books I have skimmed through rings so true and feels so right. They incorporate humor and give me all the ideas and info that I have been seeking in this technocratic world! Thank you so very much for these books.

 

I can’t imagine my life without the many gifts of Christopherus.

The Overview, especially, has been my guide since the day I first held it in my hands, and although we drift off to this and that, it’s the backbone of what I do here at the Egan Family Homeschool. How can I ever thank you?

I listened to the therapeutic talk yesterday and it was so interesting, and then, at the end, you said a sentence that knocked me off my feet and made me remember why I chose Waldorf and why it’s healing “powers” are so important in this day and age. My youngest daughter is “gifted” (whatever that means) and is nowhere near appropriately incarnated into her body. That’s what happens when you let in-laws and “experts” and fear lead you astray from what you know is truth. Thank goodness for your voice of reason Donna. You help me in more ways than I can ever express.

And as to the Overview, when I’m feeling a little overwhelmed I often just flop it open and pick a phrase or sentence that will inspire me in that moment. This trick has *never* failed me. Never.

As you know, I love to buy your books – for myself, as gifts, and for any reason I can think of! I will continue to support Christopherus this way as long as I can. I couldn’t do it without you.

I often recommend them, both as a starting point for new parents who are just beginning to study Waldorf Ed., and to more seasoned homeschoolers looking for curriculum ideas. Donna’s words are like an offer of a reassuring hand, to make me feel: ‘I can do it’ and to help me relax and know that my instincts are right.

She deeply understands developmental readiness, and her encouraging words have often helped me to observe my child with a fresh perspective, and to relax, knowing that I don’t need to push the learning process … Having Donna’s books to refer to is like having a wry and witty best friend, just an arm’s length away, ready to share her wisdom and encouragement.

 

We’ve been working with your curricula for 3 years now and are loving it! We’ve also steered a whole bunch of others your way – we really like the tone of your writing, the heart of your meaning, and your adherence to Waldorf principles in combination with real life/natural learning…

This download [Talking Pictorially] was particularly helpful – plenty of concrete examples… I had read your website article on talking to pre-schoolers some time ago and this download rounded it out nicely. And it works! Last night I was having trouble getting Rory to pick toys off the kitchen floor before dinner. It was a stalemate until I said, “Farmer Rory, all these vegetables need harvesting and popping over here,” and within minutes they were all put away.

I also enjoyed the last part of the talk on children who chatter without pause all day long… I now feel like I have some tools to deflect it in a warm and pleasant manner, instead of responding to every question and comment.

The download format is a great idea. It’s like having you in our home! It’s useful to be able to listen to it again and again, to stop and start if necessary. I look forward to more.

 

I’ve listened to your discipline download twice
now thank you 🙂

Some of the things have had me go “hmm … disagree” but then I’ve gone back or thought over it and had “aha … yep, get it now” or thought “well I do that differently but yes that’s a really good way of looking at it”. I’ve also had a few “oh I wish I’d thought of that” or “definitely need to improve on that in my own parenting” moments.

Basically, I reckon that anyone who is having thoughts about “why is my message not getting across with my little one?” would find the discipline audio download very useful…

Kind regards,

 

Thank you so much for the wonderful talk the Third Grade audio download. It has filled me with positive feelings for the coming year with my nine year old. I have been homeschooling for 3 years as a Waldorf inspired parent but I have always struggled with a sense that I was not doing enough for her – my idealism and sometimes the concerns of friends who are Waldorf teachers has weighed heavily on me and made it hard to teach with lightness and joy. Your approach to the curriculum has freed me from the weight of past years – I look forward to a long and rewarding journey of learning with you.

 

Your K audio is a gem — I’ve listened to it twice and just love it. Thank you… It’s pretty much on anytime I’m on the computer. You have a lovely voice, by the way.

Thanks and thanks for coming up with this format. It’s really a treat to be able to learn from you this way!

Gratefully,

 

I listened to your kindergarten talk this morning, twice, and now I want my husband to listen to it. I don’t know why I need to be continually reminded about creating rhythm in our day, and not to ask questions of my daughter (i.e. which shorts do you want to wear), and singing songs to ease transitions, etc. etc., but it seems that I do. I’ve been on this journey with you as guide for over a year now, and I am just continually learning and re-learning as I go deeper and deeper in.

This talk was just the thing that I needed to hear right now, and it is a very good supplement to the information I have gained on this list and in reading your Kindergarten with Your 3 to 6 Year Old and Joyful Movement books. I was also really struck by your words about the role of the mother in her children’s development. I feel very fortunate to have found you as a guide in our homeschooling process, and I trust you absolutely!

Also, it was such a pleasure to actually hear your voice, a first for me!

Thankfully,

 

I received my package today and simply could not go to bed without telling you how wonderful it is! I have seen the old testament block presented in other forms, and have seen the finished books of several students. I have even heard no less than three Waldorf teachers or former students tell me about how/why it is taught.

All of this previous exposure combined was less useful than the last hour I spent reading the Christopherus Old Testament Block manual!

I think over the past several years I had built the block up into a beautiful but almost unattainable reality. Add to that the fact that our family is experiencing some significant adjustments due to my own mother’s severe illness and I had all but given up bringing this block to my soon to be nine year old daughter. Your work made the block seem not only important to the nine year old child, but fun, provocative and most importantly, POSSIBLE for me to teach.

Thank you once again for your contribution to our home learning journey!

 

Just as I was feeling really uncentered….feeling like “I can’t do this”…your math & animal books arrived. I’ve been reading your math book…it’s just what I’ve wanted – an organized, centered, artful, heartful, logical presentation. I’m re-energized and inspired… feeling much calmer. Thank you! I am REALLY LOOKING FORWARD to your third grade curriculum this spring!

 

 

I have been using Christopherus’ book “Saints and Heroes” for a few weeks now. I was watching for a post from another user, hoping to tack on my praise for it, but thought I would go ahead and start it myself.

First off this is not a large volume (thank goodness). It is organized well and very “doable”. I so appreciate the layout and how easy it is to just dig right into. Of course there are the helpful chapters on Second Grade and materials etc, and they are very concise and necessary. However I am thrilled with how this is all about the meat and potatoes. You can open it up, choose a Saint or Hero, and just go with it.

My eight year old son is simply loving it. I have never seen him take so much care and joy in creating his “good book” entry. It has been some of his best work to date. I can see the glimmer in his eye when we are sharing the stories and it has proven to me that this is the right unit at the right time for him. My six year old sits in with us and enjoys the tales, but doesn’t do an entry for them. He likes them, but not as much as he loves the fairy tales, or even the animal tales at his age.

Thank you Donna for creating this book, it has saved me time and given me confidence. I am not a practicing Christian and was honestly a bit intimidated by this unit. I know it isn’t about religion, but none-the-less, I was a bit harbored by my lack of knowledge. I am enjoying the tales just as much as my son. I have to admit though, I am most enjoying the organization and brevity. I have many of wonderful books that I enjoy, but I find myself having to meander my way through all the reiteration of what and why. I get it, I just want the lessons. This is perfect for someone like me.

Just my thoughts, and gratitude!

 

I’ve really enjoyed working with your form drawing book … it has been a virtual ‘buffet’ of ideas for us to sample and combine to provide a smoother experience. My son’s absolute weakest doorway into life is the kinesthetic; and I do want him to experience it (and also experience some of the struggle that goes with that) … but I don’t want to belabor it. Your book has really helped me to pull together some very practical ideas using a variety of doorways and I have really appreciated it.

 

Just wanted to let you know that I received your new Form Drawing book, have already read (or should I say “devoured”?) it and I LOVE IT! It is EXACTLY what I need to get started! As are all of your books, it is so informative, yet presented in a very accessible, user friendly way. Thank you, thank you!

I also am currently enjoying your From Nature Stories To Natural Science book!

Thank you so much for what you do! You have truly inspired me to follow my heart and have given me some form with which to do it!

 

I received my Christopherus order today. I can’t put the Drawing Book down… and can’t wait to start with my children tomorrow! I have been long searching for just such a book. I finally feel able to teach and learn a waldorf approach to drawing, and incorporate it into our daily lessons. I look forward to delving into the science book, too. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day… 🙂

 

I have begun to read the kinder book. It is so supportive and nurturing, so chock full of easy, wonderful ideas. I wholly appreciate being guided into home schooling and Waldorf through your ideas and writing.

Thank you again and again,

 

Donna’s wisdom rings true and comes across clearly as usual… She addresses the senses and how to work with them, calming down a child, getting them into their bodies (a subject close to my heart), hand dominance, math, nature and gardening. Then comes the verses, songs and finger plays organized by time of day, sleep, baking, counting, seasons, fantasy, tongue twisters, and even a chapter on groups of children. I have found the book to be very important for developing circle time activities for my first grader. We do lots of stomping, hopping, jumping, play leap frog to help him get into his body to overcome a slight speech problem (which is pretty much gone now). He is learning clapping games, songs (and he hates to sing, but loves these songs). My 10 year old enjoys circle time too! Oh, and due to this book I am working on teaching both of my children to skip, a lost art as Donna calls it!

I highly recommend Donna’s latest book……it’s been invaluable for us.

But, I think the most important page in the book is that Donna addresses GUILT! I think the hardest thing for me with Waldorf is all the information I have, the books, the workshops, the songs, emails, etc., etc. where I read what is “supposed” to happen. But it never happens quite that way at my house, and I feel guilty. Seeing someone deep within Waldorf address that we don’t need to feel guilty for what we have or haven’t done is so refreshing……something I think we all need! Don’t waste time feeling guilty, just move forward from where you are!

 

I’ve been meaning to post about Joyful Movement and never seem to have the time! My youngest is 8 years old and was diagnosed 18 months ago with Asperger’s/ADHD. We have a team of therapists working with our family on an almost daily basis. Since summer, I’ve been sharing more and more about the Waldorf philosophy with them. Our daily therapist (who has been w/us since May – our old therapist went back to law school!) comes to our home, and she’s been interested simply because our home has such a different feel than the other homes she’s in. (Our 16 yo dd and 12 yo ds are also homeschooled.) Our daily therapist is a sweet, gentle person who helps Gracie by coming along side her and modeling. She has not only been open to but has embraced much of Waldorf. After I showed her Joyful Movement, she took it to a staff meeting and they all were very impressed. Our therapist has begun an hour each morning of small motor, large motor, movement, tongue twisters, bouncing, cross-midline, brain-gym, yoga and memorization with Gracie each morning, most of it from Joyful Movement. (Different things on different days, obviously! Not everything each day.) She mentioned that the other therapists all wanted the author/title info so they could get their own copies, too.

Some mornings I find them out walking chalk spirals on our driveway. They’ve been drawing with their toes, passing beanbags around, bouncing, tricking each other with tongue twisters and riddles, forming shapes with dough behind their backs, etc. Our “team” of therapists are traditional behavioral therapists, provided by the State by law, who have various psychology or special ed degrees from bachelors up to doctorate. They’ve been very impressed with everything Donna has suggested for Gracie (we’re subscribers to Donna’s service) and all the materials they have seen so far – particularly Joyful Movement. It is exactly what Gracie needs right now, and they found that her coping skills, attention, communication, and maturity skills have skyrocketed in the past 4 months of doing an hour daily or Joyful Movement. Last week our daily therapist’s supervisor came for an audit – she has a master’s in art therapy. She was very impressed by the crossing the midline exercises and the dough-shaping exercises in Joyful Movement. She said something like, “Where did you learn about this? Most people don’t realize how effective these [simple-looking exercises] really are! They think they’re a waste of time but they’re SO necessary.”

So, if you’re even considering beginning to put movement into your mornings, I can highly recommend it as a parent. I can also tell you that over a dozen therapists were really blown away by the ideas, the effectiveness and the whole approach. Our daily therapist is working on a degree in special ed, and she’s taken stuff she learned at my house and used them in her class work, and her professor was really impressed. So I just wanted to share what a truly therapeutic, restorative – but easy – resource it is. Even my older two will gladly get involved with the group things – lots of giggles, lots of fun! This is a very unpolished and choppy review – but I wanted to get it written and sent off while my barley soup was cooking! 🙂

 

After much deliberation, I finally got your overview book. Needless to say, I wish this would have been the first book I bought when I found out about Waldorf. It is wonderful!

I have to say you have challenged me, in a good way and in several ways. All my life, since I was a kid, I always wanted to be a stay at home mom. As a matter of fact, I often chuckle when I think that my guidance counselor when I was in high school would get so frustrated with me because he wanted me to go to college, and when he asked me what I wanted to do with my life I told him, “Get married and have kids!”. My point being that in the chapter that you talk about homemaking and being fulfilled, it really hit me, if this is what I have always wanted to do with my life, why am I so grumpy all the time, and why am I always searching for “time alone” away from my kids? I honestly believe that it is a mindset that I have had (stay at home moms need to get some time away from their children to feel refreshed), and that needs to get straightened out. And your overview has done that. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that we as moms need time to re-group and time to ourselves, but I was taking it to extremes, and taking it out on my children.

The other way you have challenged me is the TV! I have been trying to work on the kids watching less TV, but it wasn’t really working. In your overview, you talk about this, and challenge us as parents to watch what we do in our own free-time. Do we veg in front of the TV, or do we do something productive? And guess what I was doing? It has been interesting today (I got your overview 2 days ago and am halfway through it <grin>) to watch myself and to pay attention to what is going on in my head. I get bored, I turn on the TV. I want to veg, I turn on the TV. So I am watching myself and seeing what I do that the kids are picking up on.

Well anyway, I must go tend to my youngsters, but thank you for your publications. I am looking forward to getting the first grade syllabus, the new LA books, and your science book in the near future.

 

I just wanted to drop a quick note to thank you for the customer service and product of your Curriculum Overview… I’m thrilled with the prompt delivery and warm customer service.

I’m also devouring the curriculum itself. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for since I started exploring Waldorf philosophy a few years ago. It seems so easy to get a list of dogmatic rules and surface prescriptions (wooden toys good, beeswax good, legos bad, finger-paints bad, silks good, TV bad) without learning the whys behind it all… It’s also been so hard to find things that are applicable to a homeschool environment with only one or two children. It was so nice to see in print that forcing a circle time with only one child might seem un-authentic… and meet with resistance on the part of my child.

I have purchased several Waldorf-oriented resource materials, and poured over Kytka’s and other websites. Many of the things I’ve perused you even reference in your book (i.e. Path of Discovery.) But, as an eclectic, Waldorf-oriented but not strict homeschooler, your resource by far is the one with which I’ve been most pleased. So many times I’ve spent money purchasing materials and been disappointed when they come and/or felt that the price is way too much for what I’ve received. Your material is so well done and so reasonably priced.

Thank you for your efforts and wonderful material.

Donna,

I am very excited to learn you are writing a kindergarten book!! I have recently received my edition of the Waldorf Curriculum Overview you wrote and am so pleased! Although I am only in the middle of it, I am enjoying it thoroughly. I have to say how much I love what you say about the stay-at-home parent/homemaker/educator. I have never received so many positive, thoughtfully expressed ideas from any other source. This book is just what I have been searching for, with great frustration, for several years now.

Thank you thank you thank you!!!

 

Thank you Donna for writing this book! [The Christopherus Waldorf Curriculum Overview for Homeschoolers] What a treasure it is! I wish I had this book two years ago when we began our Waldorf homeschooling journey. The Overview is thorough, comprehensive, encouraging, supportive and very user-friendly. It does such a fine job of addressing the needs of the homeschooler who is working to adapt what is taught in Waldorf schools to the home environment. You show how homeschooling with Waldorf is indeed accessible and need not be overwhelming. Reading this book helped me put things into perspective and see things in a whole new light. In reading this book, I have come across many things that resonate deeply – they are just what I need to “hear”. I am highly recommending this book to my friends and anyone else who is looking to homeschooling with Waldorf.

Warmly,

 

Hi Donna

From time to time I’ve asked your thoughts or updated you on something that has happened. This time I want to say thanks! We use your year 2 curriculum, and I just love it. The content is simply beautiful with lovely stories, and of course very easy to use as per usual. The main reason I am thanking you today is for the legal information. We recently chose to register in order to make my life less complicated. In the plan I wrote, I mostly copied what you had provided. It was SO easy! I could have written it myself, but it would have taken me quite a while and used up a number of brain cells unnecessarily. PLEASE continue to have this information in your curriculum!”

Many thanks,

 

I wanted to thank you, Donna, and your staff so very kindly for the beautiful fifth grade syllabus. As always, I and my family eagerly await the arrival of your package and open it as if it were Christmas morning! Indeed, for me, this curriculum is a lovely gift as it inspires (and even comforts me!) to infuse my child’s learning with great warmth and clarity.

 

I just wanted to let you know that I think the Christopherus Curriculum is outstanding. I am especially very appreciative of all the effort and extras you have put into the manual. You have it all there for me.

As a teacher who is charged with the responsibility to teach fourth grade students, I find there is possibly no better resource than the Christopherus Fourth Grade Curriculum.

I would highly recommend this Steiner/Waldorf based curriculum because it has many elements that make it an outstanding resource. The teachers’ notes and lesson plans will also make integrating of the resource into the existing school curriculum much easier. The whole curriculum is teacher friendly, easy to navigate and picks up on all the key main lesson topics of fourth grade in a Steiner School. It is also reassuring as a teacher to know that this resource has been used by many Steiner/Waldorf teachers in Western Australia.

The Christopherus Fourth Grade Curriculum gets to the heart in a wonderful way, both through the main lesson material, and through the carefully thought out activities which creatively introduce the children to the fascinating world in which we live. It is a curriculum which is rich with ideas, but at the same time acts as a catalyst for the teacher, inspiring further investigation and sparking fresh ideas.

 

I’ve just finished reading the 3rd grade curriculum you so promptly sent us. It is absolutely amazing. It is so well laid out, easy to follow and enjoyable to read. I can hardly wait to start next year!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for a job well done.

 

It was with great joy that I received your Third Grade Curriculum last week. An even greater joy was mine when I finished reading it! My husband and I feel tremendously blessed that you “guide” us on our homeschool journey. All of your manuals (well at least those we have yet purchased!) have become blessed advisers.

Thank you kindly for your brilliant work! May you have a lovely summer in your garden. I would have liked to have sent you a sweat pea from ours, but they are just so fragile,

With sincerest regards,

 

Your third grade curriculum is wonderful. I was initially considering just using the shelf full of resources I accumulated after third with my daughter. But I’m so glad I purchased your materials. They’re beautifully done, practical, and accessible.

The only thing I tend to ignore are the suggested breaks. I get going and want to keep at it, but then find out we naturally slow down our pace and need that time off. I’m going to build in those times to rest and do other things from now on.

 

I am so happy I have found Donna’s work. Right now I’m using the Christopherus 3rd Grade Curriculum with my 9 year-old. I first used her texts during the 2nd grade and our home began to flourish (yes home, not just homeschooling). I have consulted with Donna and used her books and am delighted that the same person I talk to on the phone is the same compassionate, funny and wise voice I read in the books.

My experience has been that if something I read in one of her books raises a question in my mind, I undoubtedly find the answer in the next paragraph or on a subsequent page. If I want to know the least bit of information just to move ahead with the day’s lesson I can find it…if I want to go layers deep in the same issue I can find that, too. She is so deeply knowledgeable about Waldorf education and what sets her apart, to me, is her ability to help me bring it home in a way that brings the best of both Waldorf and homeschooling. It is very rich, indeed. I believe Donna has found her voice and her niche. I am so happy for her…and me!

 

The lessons are easy to use and flow really nicely – not just a block, switch gears, another block, it all makes sense, how it flows, love that. The daily plan is so well thought out – it makes a huge impact on how easy it is to implement, and let’s face it, the more user-friendly it is, the more likely it is to happen, so well done there!

I really think that the legal, etc. info is a nice touch – and one that will help people to ease their minds as to whether this is a “legit” curriculum. Nice for newbies, especially.

I also like the temperament work – I’m “into” the temperaments at the moment, so I really enjoyed that personally. I (opinion here) think that temperament work is a huge key to making “school” either joyful or stressful. It’s all about relationships and working together. So, so helpful, to learn about this subject. It was a great idea to include this and get the gears turning in people’s minds.

And, of course, I think the individual blocks are brilliant – Saints, Math and Animal Legends, all well chosen.

 

I wanted to write and let you know how grateful I am to have found the Christopherus 2nd grade syllabus.

I am new to home schooling, and have always been one of those parents who said I don’t have what it takes to home school a child. Due to my recently adopted 8 year old son from India (who has been labeled ADHD and has PTSD from trauma at his orphanage) I have had to dive head first into the almost overwhelming world of home schooling…

For the first time in his life he loves school work, and he is learning that he is an intelligent human being capable of many successes. He’s able to get up from his work and walk around if necessary, learn kinesthetically, and discuss lessons with me aloud (not often allowed in the public school setting). He’s enormously creative, visual and is excited to embark on this journey of learning with me. It has done wonders for helping him feel more secure and safe in the world, and the ADHD-like symptoms have greatly reduced.

I received the Syllabus yesterday and spent several hours looking it over. Originally, I planned to create my own curriculum based upon Waldorf philosophy, but became overwhelmed. I feel so supported now with all that you have offered– it is a Godsend, thank you!

Blessings & Smiles,

 

I ordered a first grade syllabus along with a few other curriculum books from Christopherus about 3 weeks ago. I just wanted to let you know how wonderful all of it is. It amazes me how thorough and organized it is. It is exactly what I had been hoping for in my homeschooling adventures. I just want to let you know how impressed I am. Once I get a bit more organized, I will surely be using more of your resources. Thank you again!

 

Dear Donna,

I am so glad I bought your first grade curriculum. So far homeschooling has been a joyous and therapeutic experience for our family because of the encouragement we receive in the Waldorf at Home forum and through your curriculum.

Although you are probably swamped with pictures from your fans I thought I would send along a few. I don’t know anyone using Waldorf where we live so I have no one to share this stuff with!!! We just finished our first Language Arts block and used the story about the puffed up prince. My girls love this story and at dinner time they puff up their chests and pretend to be puffed up and petulant.

I love your down to earth advice and flexible guidelines.

This is our first year homeschooling and in the past weeks I have sometimes doubted our decision to do this. But when I doubt I take out my girls “Good Books” and see their progress and marvel at the beauty of this form of education. Thank you for helping us make Waldorf a reality in our home.

Much Love…

Hi Donna,

I have been using your 1st Grade Syllabus, and almost every other book in your homeschool series that is age appropriate for my 5 and almost 8 year old daughters! I am thoroughly enjoying the whole concept, and experience, of teaching this way, even though I had had no previous experience with Waldorf at all. You have done a super job and really made our first year of homeschooling a great experience. Our almost 8 year old was in public school for 1st grade last year and I took her out of there in March because it was not working well, to say the least, for her. She was actually diagnosed with anxiety, but her teacher had repeatedly talked to me because she thought my daughter had Asperger’s syndrome or something along that line due to her behavior. We are all at home now and everything is going great!

Thank you!

 

I just completed reading through and then planning out my blocks for first grade using Christopherus Homeschool Resources’ First Grade Syllabus. What a wealth of information and help! I have always chosen to use a more labor intensive curriculum and have avoided the ones that are laid out for you day by day. Donna’s syllabus strikes the balance between “here it is, spoon fed to you” and ‘here are a few ideas, now go make up your own”. I feel that with her syllabus I have the freedom to meet my first grader’s interests and needs as well as make sure he is receiving a good solid Waldorf first grade education.

I was pleased to find Donna’s scheduling ideas, her advice on teaching and storytelling, as well as the stories! Each subject is discussed in ample detail and then each block is laid out for you to use. Each block contains ideas as well a good direction and choices for what to do on the subject. And, the true help for me….the part I have difficulties with…..she has a Lesson A and B for each block (recorder, painting, drawing, modeling, baking, etc.) there too! No more sitting with all my Waldorf books piled around me looking for crafts that I don’t have the stuff to do.

Because I also have a 5th grader this year, and it looks to be a very intense year, Donna’s syllabus has saved me so much time and struggle. I am not entering this year as prepared as I wanted to be, but I have great confidence that my load will be lighter using Donna’s syllabus.

Thank you Donna for making a Waldorf education possible for my children, and thank you for making it easier.

 

I ordered a first grade syllabus along with a few other curriculum books from Christopherus about 3 weeks ago. I just wanted to let you know how wonderful all of it is. It amazes me how thorough and organized it is. It is exactly what I had been hoping for in my homeschooling adventures. I just want to let you know how impressed I am. Once I get a bit more organized, I will surely be using more of your resources. Thank you again!

 

I have been using your 1st Grade Syllabus, and almost every other book in your homeschool series that is age appropriate for my 5 and almost 8 year old daughters! I am thoroughly enjoying the whole concept, and experience, of teaching this way, even though I had had no previous experience with Waldorf at all. You have done a super job and really made our first year of homeschooling a great experience. Our almost 8 year old was in public school for 1st grade last year and I took her out of there in March because it was not working well, to say the least, for her. She was actually diagnosed with anxiety, but her teacher had repeatedly talked to me because she thought my daughter had Asperger’s syndrome or something along that line due to her behavior. We are all at home now and everything is going great!

Thank you!

I did receive both the order and the audio download. I was so impressed with each and every item that I ordered and am anxious to listen to the audio download. In fact, I am going to use the Christopherus Curriculum with my daughter! What I have read, so far, answers a multitude of questions and fills so many gaps that I am experiencing with [another homeschool] curriculum.

Many, many thanks for providing such creative, thoughtful, fulfilling and practical ways to connect and teach my daughter! These resources truly exceed my expectations! (I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the schedule provided with each block, as well as the blocks, themselves.) THANK YOU!

I just wanted to let you know that I think the Christopherus Curriculum is outstanding. I am especially very appreciative of all the effort and extras you have put into the manual. You have it all there for me.

As a teacher who is charged with the responsibility to teach fourth grade students, I find there is possibly no better resource than the Christopherus Fourth Grade Curriculum.

I would highly recommend this Steiner/Waldorf based curriculum because it has many elements that make it an outstanding resource. The teachers’ notes and lesson plans will also make integrating of the resource into the existing school curriculum much easier. The whole curriculum is teacher friendly, easy to navigate and picks up on all the key main lesson topics of fourth grade in a Steiner School. It is also reassuring as a teacher to know that this resource has been used by many Steiner/Waldorf teachers in Western Australia.

The Christopherus Fourth Grade Curriculum gets to the heart in a wonderful way, both through the main lesson material, and through the carefully thought out activities which creatively introduce the children to the fascinating world in which we live. It is a curriculum which is rich with ideas, but at the same time acts as a catalyst for the teacher, inspiring further investigation and sparking fresh ideas.

Helena Trainer
Third and Fourth Grade Teacher
Golden Hill Steiner School
Denmark, Western Australia

I wanted to thank you, Donna, and your staff so very kindly for the beautiful fifth grade syllabus. As always, I and my family eagerly await the arrival of your package and open it as if it were Christmas morning! Indeed, for me, this curriculum is a lovely gift as it inspires (and even comforts me!) to infuse my child’s learning with great warmth and clarity.

After much deliberation, I finally got your overview book. Needless to say, I wish this would have been the first book I bought when I found out about Waldorf. It is wonderful!

I have to say you have challenged me, in a good way and in several ways. All my life, since I was a kid, I always wanted to be a stay at home mom. As a matter of fact, I often chuckle when I think that my guidance counselor when I was in high school would get so frustrated with me because he wanted me to go to college, and when he asked me what I wanted to do with my life I told him, “Get married and have kids!”. My point being that in the chapter that you talk about homemaking and being fulfilled, it really hit me, if this is what I have always wanted to do with my life, why am I so grumpy all the time, and why am I always searching for “time alone” away from my kids? I honestly believe that it is a mindset that I have had (stay at home moms need to get some time away from their children to feel refreshed), and that needs to get straightened out. And your overview has done that. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that we as moms need time to re-group and time to ourselves, but I was taking it to extremes, and taking it out on my children.

The other way you have challenged me is the TV! I have been trying to work on the kids watching less TV, but it wasn’t really working. In your overview, you talk about this, and challenge us as parents to watch what we do in our own free-time. Do we veg in front of the TV, or do we do something productive? And guess what I was doing? It has been interesting today (I got your overview 2 days ago and am halfway through it <grin>) to watch myself and to pay attention to what is going on in my head. I get bored, I turn on the TV. I want to veg, I turn on the TV. So I am watching myself and seeing what I do that the kids are picking up on.

Well anyway, I must go tend to my youngsters, but thank you for your publications. I am looking forward to getting the first grade syllabus, the new LA books, and your science book in the near future.

I just wanted to drop a quick note to thank you for the customer service and product of your Curriculum Overview… I’m thrilled with the prompt delivery and warm customer service.

I’m also devouring the curriculum itself. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for since I started exploring Waldorf philosophy a few years ago. It seems so easy to get a list of dogmatic rules and surface prescriptions (wooden toys good, beeswax good, legos bad, finger-paints bad, silks good, TV bad) without learning the whys behind it all… It’s also been so hard to find things that are applicable to a homeschool environment with only one or two children. It was so nice to see in print that forcing a circle time with only one child might seem un-authentic… and meet with resistance on the part of my child.

I have purchased several Waldorf-oriented resource materials, and poured over Kytka’s and other websites. Many of the things I’ve perused you even reference in your book (i.e. Path of Discovery.) But, as an eclectic, Waldorf-oriented but not strict homeschooler, your resource by far is the one with which I’ve been most pleased. So many times I’ve spent money purchasing materials and been disappointed when they come and/or felt that the price is way too much for what I’ve received. Your material is so well done and so reasonably priced.

Thank you for your efforts and wonderful material.

I am very excited to learn you are writing a kindergarten book!! I have recently received my edition of the Waldorf Curriculum Overview you wrote and am so pleased! Although I am only in the middle of it, I am enjoying it thoroughly. I have to say how much I love what you say about the stay-at-home parent/homemaker/educator. I have never received so many positive, thoughtfully expressed ideas from any other source. This book is just what I have been searching for, with great frustration, for several years now.

Thank you thank you thank you!!!

Thank you Donna for writing this book! The Christopherus Waldorf Curriculum Overview for Homeschoolers.  What a treasure it is! I wish I had this book two years ago when we began our Waldorf homeschooling journey. The Overview is thorough, comprehensive, encouraging, supportive and very user-friendly. It does such a fine job of addressing the needs of the homeschooler who is working to adapt what is taught in Waldorf schools to the home environment. You show how homeschooling with Waldorf is indeed accessible and need not be overwhelming. Reading this book helped me put things into perspective and see things in a whole new light. In reading this book, I have come across many things that resonate deeply – they are just what I need to “hear”. I am highly recommending this book to my friends and anyone else who is looking to homeschooling with Waldorf.

“Thank you so much for coming to Grand Junction, CO to discuss teaching and the Waldorf way. I was particularly impressed by your session on teaching science and the emphasis on observing the natural world. Observation is the key to truly understanding science and all that goes with it. Your method of honing the child’s powers of observation is the secret to spawning an awareness of science and can make interesting such mysteries as why rain falls and how that drop found its way into a cloud in the first place. I look forward to my kids learning math and science by such captivating means. Thank you and we hope to see you in Grand Junction again.”

“I was expecting [at Donna’s Atlanta  conference] much more repetition of things I already know yet I felt you went into depth further than I anticipated….You are such an amazing resource, truly a living example of thoughts warmed by the heart and activated through your sharing. Thank you!”

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